Being a vegan is more than a dietary choice, it is a school of thought that rejects commodity status of animals. Adopting a vegan diet is beyond giving up on meat, poultry and seafood. You will also be required to stay away from dairy products like ghee, paneer, yogurt, milk and even eggs. Throughout the world people are joining the vegan club. Some people turn to veganism for health concerns, while others have a moral, environmental and spiritual reasoning behind this dietary choice. Whatever is your motivation behind turning a vegan, you need awareness so that you don’t compromise on your health.
Therefore, the attempt of this article is to highlight benefits of veganism, the risks associated with it and ways to evade them by adopting a balanced diet plan.
Benefits of Vegan diet
Packed with Nutrition
To begin with, vegan diet is highly nutritious. As the diet requires you to consume a lot of fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, nuts and soy products, your body will get the requisite dose of potassium, zinc, folic acid, fiber, iron and all the other vital nutrients.
A diet which his low in saturated fat, high in fiber and good fats prevent the onset of lifestyle diseases such as cardiovascular illness, diabetes, hypertension, stroke and even cancer. Rich and balanced vegan diet is also said to prevent age-related diseases like cataract and osteoporosis.
You will feel energized and physically fit, if you are following a vegan diet. A vegan diet is said to improve the quality of skin and hair. Consumption of nuts and seeds like almonds, flax seeds, sunflower seeds etc. is very good for hair, skin and nail. In addition to that, veganism also assists in weight loss, fights body odour and promotes dental health.
Risks Associated with Vegan Diet
Many dieticians argue that taking the vegan diet too far can be potentially risky for one’s health. Some health experts have also linked veganism as the first step towards the development of eating disorders like Anorexia Nervosa and Bulimia Nervosa. Nutritionists also suggest that depriving one’s body from animal fat and protein can lead to ailments like Cachexia which is depletion of skeleton muscle and fatigue. Below is a summary of some health risk associated with vegan diet –
Animal protein is regarded superior to plant based protein. We all know how important protein intake is for the body. It helps in muscle repair and is regarded as a building block of the body. Therefore, depriving the body with animal protein is said to affect the immune system as well as reduce the release of hormones and neurotransmitters like serotonin.
Since veganism also requires you to cut down on dairy products, some people may be susceptible to calcium deficiency. Calcium deficit in the body is the main cause for brittle bones and makes one more susceptible to fracture or broken bones.
Deprivation of Vitamin B12
Meat, seafood, fish, poultry, eggs and soy products are the natural source of the B12 vitamin. It has been found that many vegans suffer from B12 deficiency. As one of the most important nutrient for the body, B12 deficiency can lead to weakness, lethargy, cognitive impairment, anemia and neurological disorders.
How to Strike the Right Balance
If you have decided to follow the path of veganism, so be it. However, you should know how to strike a balance to prevent health complications. Here are some recommendations in that direction –
Juice the Right Way
Vegans tend to consume a lot of juice made with fresh fruits and vegetables to meet their daily requirement of nutrients and vitamins. The recommended way to drink juice is to take it out at home. However, conventional juicer machine eliminates fiber from the juice, which is why you need to purchase a cold pressed juicer machine from a brand like Kent that yields more juice and retains more nutrients in the fruit juice.
Take Dietary Supplements
Dietary supplements can be helpful to bridge any gap or lack of nutrients. As a vegan you should take calcium, B12, Omega fatty acids and iron supplements. However, as a statutory warning do consult a doctor or physician before taking any kind of dietary supplement.
Increase Protein Intake
Protein deficiency can cause severe health complications. To assure that you don’t fall victim to that, increase the intake of plant based proteins. Soya products, spinach, almond milk, and chia seeds are a rich source of protein.
So, in conclusion we can say that vegan diet is great for one’s health, but make sure you do it the right way. Go for regular health checkups and if you experience any kind of discomfort consult a doctor immediately.